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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital Enjoy Early Taste of Halloween Thanks to Volunteers from Spirit Halloween

Although Halloween was still two weeks away, the date on the calendar didn’t stop patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital from enjoying an early taste of the spooky holiday on October 17 – thanks to our friends from Spirit Halloween and their “Spirit of Children” program.

Throughout the afternoon, Spirit Halloween volunteers hosted special parties for hospitalized children in the playrooms located on the hospital’s 4th, 5th, and 6th floors, joining them in Halloween-themed activities, including face-painting, and crafts. There was extra excitement in the air as each child got to pick out a costume to keep as a special gift.

Spirit Halloween has been a longtime supporter of Hasbro Children’s Hospital, organizing an annual in-store fundraiser in addition to hosting Halloween parties. Through October 31, customers who purchase their costumes at local Spirit Halloween can receive 10% off their purchase using this coupon. Spirit Halloween will donate the 10% to our hospital.

Funds raised by local Spirit Halloween stores benefit Hasbro Children’s Child Life program, which helps to provide patients with a sense of normalcy during hospitalization through play and storytelling. Certified Child Life Specialists also work to educate patients and their families about a child’s illness and what to expect during a test or procedure in non-scary ways.

Since the partnership began, Spirit Halloween has raised $337,932 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital. We, and our patients, are very grateful for their generous and ongoing support!

Spirit Halloween

Wanting her face painted to resemble her favorite, colorful stuffed unicorn, 6-year-old Kylan smiles as Keri Andrade of Spirit Halloween prepares to apply purple makeup.

Spirit Halloween

After picking out what he called a “really cool” ninja costume, 5-year-old Alexander got to work painting a pumpkin.

Spirit Halloween

Joined by her parents, Adam and Carissa, Abigail was the youngest patient to enjoy the Spirit Halloween party, immediately wanting to wear her new baby shark costume.

Spirit Halloween

Members of the Spirit Halloween team who helped patients enjoy an early taste of Halloween.
From left: Keri Andrade, Jen Zilka, Kieran Meehan, Ken Soares, and Sheila Vaillancourt.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Walmart and Sam’s Club Surpasses $1 billion in Fundraising for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

That’s billion, with a “B!” We are so grateful to Walmart and Sam’s Club, which just surpassed raising $1 billion for 170 Children's Miracle Network partner hospitals across North America, including nearly $2.9 million for Hasbro Children’s Hospital! Thank you to all of the employees and customers whose generous donations #HelpKidsLiveBetter.

Walmart Employees Celebrate Giving


Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Spirit of Children Supports the Child Life Program

Once again Spirit of Children is offering a 10-percent discount on purchases made online and in local Spirit Halloween stores and donating the money back to the child life department at Hasbro Children's Hospital. Get Coupon.

Spirit of Children’s mission is to make hospitals less scary for kids and their families through support of the child life departments at partner hospitals in local communities, which includes Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Since 2007, Spirit of Children has raised $45 million to provide child life funding for art, music, aquatic and pet therapy programs as well as the purchase of educational items and toys used for distraction during medical procedures, and much more. 100 percent of every dollar donated supports the child life department.

To learn more about this program and find a local participating store go to


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Washington County Fair, Rockwell Amusements Team-Up to Raise $26,000 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital

This year, one of New England’s longest-standing traditions partnered with the area’s leading pediatric hospital to help make a difference in the lives of young patients. During its five-day run from August 15 to 19, The Washington County Fair offered patrons a number of ways to donate to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, with the community coming together to raise $26,000.

Dubbed the “FUNdraiser” of Rhode Island’s largest agricultural event, The Washington County Fair and Rockwell Amusements joined forces to offer guests a complimentary merry-go-round ride for a minimum $2 donation to Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Taking their generosity one step further, The Washington County Fair and Rockwell Amusements both matched the first $2,500 in donations. The merry-go-round was introduced to the fair this year specifically for the “FUNdraiser,” and was enjoyed by several thousand families.

Washington County Fair Check Presentation

From left: Harold Fera, Owner Rockwell Amusements; Paige Alston, Hasbro Children’s Hospital Champion Child; Kate Fish, Representing The Washington County Fair; and Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital

“We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with Rockwell Amusements on this fundraiser for Hasbro Children’s Hospital. The fair has been focused on giving back to our community, local 4H and FFA clubs since its inception, and prides itself in providing a safe place for children and their families to have fun, learn, and experience farm life,” commented Roxanne Nelson, Co-Chairman of The Washington County Fair. “The decision was unanimous when Harold Fera of Rockwell Amusements approached the fair committee on his proposed partnership with Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Almost everyone in our community knows someone who has been treated at the hospital, and we are proud to have supported and served our community this year through our fundraising efforts. I’d like to thank all who were involved, especially the patrons, for making this fundraiser a major success.”

Visitors also had the opportunity to donate to Hasbro Children’s Hospital across the fair’s sprawling concessions area as 25 food vendors participated in a “food booth challenge” to see who could raise the most money. The challenge generated $9,895.82 of the total raised for the hospital, with the Hope Valley Fire Department booth winning the friendly competition by raising $2,465.

“We could not be more grateful to The Washington County Fair and Rockwell Amusements, not only for their generosity, but for also making our hospital such an important focus of this year’s event,” said Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “Just as people come from all over our region to enjoy the fair, families across southern New England rely on our hospital for their children’s care – it is beyond heartwarming to see our community respond with such kindness on behalf of the kids who need us most.”

Washington County Fair Check Presentation

From left (back row): Harold Fera, owner Rockwell Amusements; Chief Justin Lee, Hope Valley Fire District; Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital; Haley Adams; Roxanne Nelson, co-chairman, Washington County Fair; (front row) Paige Alston, Hasbro Children’s Hospital Champion Child; Lila Vacca; and Emma Adams.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Local Walmart Stores Kick-Off Annual Fundraising Campaign to Support Hasbro Children’s Hospital

The lower level of Hasbro Children’s Hospital was filled with excitement on Tuesday, August 21, when more than two dozen local Walmart associates joined hospital leadership and the hospital’s 2018 Champion Child to kick-off this year’s fundraising campaign.

Beginning on August 27, and continuing through September 30, all Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts Walmart locations will offer its customers a convenient way to support our area’s leading pediatric hospital. At checkout, Walmart associates will invite customers to make a voluntary donation of $1 or more to their shopping total; 100 percent of the donation directly goes to Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Walmart is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) partner and Hasbro Children’s is the region’s member hospital.

During the kick-off, Walmart associates were introduced to 4-year-old Champion Child Paige Alston and her parents, Amber and Cliff. Paige was born with an abdominal wall defect known as omphalocele, as well as an atrial septal defect. She spent the first 180 days of her life at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and has undergone 24 procedures to-date.

Throughout this year’s Walmart campaign, Paige’s face will adorn the display posters at each register, encouraging customers to support Hasbro Children’s Hospital and make a difference in kids’ lives.

As the kick-off event came to a close, the Alston family and Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, presented local Walmart associates with framed artwork featuring Paige.

Since 1987, Walmart has been a dedicated CMNH partner, raising more than $1 billion nationally for member hospitals. Locally, Walmart raised $160,486 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital in 2017, bringing its total support of the hospital to nearly $2.9 million since 2007. Their unwavering support has helped us purchase lifesaving equipment, undertake key renovation projects, and support programs that bring hope and healing to the patients and families who rely on our specialized care.

Walmart Kickoff for Hasbro Children's Hospital

In gratitude to Walmart, local associates were presented with framed artwork featuring Paige Alston, the hospital’s 2018 Champion Child.

From left: Paige Alston (front); Amber Alston; Cliff Alston (back); Kevin Kilker, Market 160 Manager, Walmart; Ashley Viveiros, Market 161 Manager, Walmart; and Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President, Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital.


Friday, June 29, 2018

Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee Day Raises $155,844 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital

This year’s Dunkin’ Donuts’ Iced Coffee Day helped to raise $155,844 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital, making the 2018 effort one of the highest fundraising totals since its launch in 2010.

Held this year on Wednesday, May 23, Iced Coffee Day is Dunkin’ Donuts’ annual fundraiser to support Hasbro Children’s Hospital. For every iced coffee sold at Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant locations in Rhode Island and Bristol County, Massachusetts, local Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees donated $1 to the hospital. The effort has now raised more than $2 million since inception.

Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee Day

Local Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees and Hasbro Children’s Hospital leadership and staff celebrate the results of this year’s Iced Coffee Day, which raised $155,844 for our hospital.

“All of us at Dunkin’ Donuts are so proud of the results of this year’s Iced Coffee Day, and we thank our loyal customers for coming out to support the cause,” said Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee Joe Prazeres. “Hasbro Children’s Hospital is an invaluable organization that helps countless children and families across our region. We are thrilled to support them, and we are already looking forward to next year’s Iced Coffee Day.”

“Not only is Iced Coffee Day one of our hospital’s most important annual fundraisers, it also provides an opportunity for people across our communities to make a direct impact on the lives of our patients and their families,” said Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “Words alone cannot express our thanks to Dunkin’ Donuts, their franchisees and customers, for their continued generosity and support.”

This year’s Iced Coffee Day was jam-packed with special events and celebrity appearances throughout the market, including New England Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty; University of Rhode Island Men’s Basketball Head Coach David Cox; NBC’s The Voice star Emily Luther, and a number of local elected officials who volunteered their time to work the counters and drive-thru windows at are Dunkin’ Donuts.

Plus, for the first time this year, Dunkin’ Donuts partnered with Good Night Lights, the locally iconic tradition of shining lights toward Hasbro Children’s Hospital every night at 8:30 to let patients know we’re all thinking about them. As part of the partnership, Dunkin’ Donuts gave away free keychain flashlights to customers throughout the month of May, and hosted a large Good Night Lights signaling event in India Point Park the night of Iced Coffee Day.

“I’m proud of what Good Night Lights has become, and how it continues to grow. What started as one exchange between me and a patient at Hasbro Children's Hospital in 2010 has grown into a nightly ritual of support from people and businesses all across Rhode Island and Massachusetts,” said Good Night Lights founder and conductor Steve Brosnihan. “The fact that we see lights shining every night at 8:30 is a testament to the generous, caring hearts of Rhode Islanders, and all those who join the display. Big thanks to Dunkin’ Donuts for shining its own spotlight on this project and its volunteer community intent on raising the spirits of hospitalized children.”

Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee Day

As part of celebrating the results of this year’s Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee Day, local franchisees and hospital leadership flashed Good Night Lights back to members of the community signaling goodnight to patients on Thursday, June 28.
Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hasbro Children’s Hospital Receives New Motorized Cars for Patients to ‘Drive’ to Operating Room Thanks to Balise Motor Sales Group

Patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital now have two new motorized options – in the form of a pink Chevrolet Camaro and a black Chevrolet Silverado – to drive themselves to the operating room prior to a procedure. The battery-operated ride-on vehicles were presented to the hospital on Wednesday, June 27, by representatives of Balise Motor Sales Group.

For more than 20 years, Hasbro Children’s has offered this feel-good opportunity to its patients through a various vehicles, including a ride-on tractor and an SUV. But once Balise learned that the hospital’s current offerings had racked up the miles and could be refreshed, they didn’t hesitate to lend a helping hand. In the process, they also made a special request a reality.

Balise gift to Hasbro Childrens

Paige Alston, 4 of Coventry, gets ready to take the first ride in one of the hospital’s new motorized vehicles donated by Balise Motor Sales Group on Wednesday, June 27. The young girl has been a patient of Hasbro Children’s since birth, and has undergone 23 procedures after being born with an abdominal wall defect known as an omphalocele.

“We know that no matter the procedure, kids and their families are usually nervous before surgery, which makes it wonderful to see them smiling as they drive down the hallway,” said Francois I. Luks, MD, PhD, Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s pediatric surgeon- in-chief. “We’ve had a number of patients ask for a pink car to use, and we didn’t have one until now. That Balise went the extra mile to gift us cars that will appeal to all children underscores their commitment to our hospital and to our patients. We are grateful for their support.”

The new Camaro and Silverado will be parked in the hospital’s pre- and post-anesthesia care units. The hospital’s current vehicles will also remain in use, giving patients a total of four vehicle options to choose from.

“It’s important to us that our partnership continues to enhance the experience of the patients and families who rely on Hasbro Children’s Hospital for their care,” said Balise Motor Sales owner and CEO, Jeb Balise. “Knowing these ride-on vehicles will provide joy during an otherwise stressful time means the world to us.”

Balise gift to Hasbro Childrens

Left to right: Amber and Cliff Alston; Alexa Napolitan, Marketing Communications Coordinator, Balise Motor Sales Group; Karon Tetreault, PACU RN, Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Francois I. Luks, MD, PhD, Pediatric Surgeon-in-Chief, Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Renée Cacchiotti, MSN, RN, Clinical Manager, Pre & Post Anesthesia Care Units, Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Amy Roberts, Vice President, Human Resources, Balise Motor Sales Group; Joe Orefice, Sales Manager, Balise Subaru; and Jenny Pereira, Cause Related Marketing Officer, Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
Front: Paige Alston (left) and her sister, Harper Alston (right).
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Barrington 4th Grade Students Create and Donate Books to Patients

Hamden Meadows Book Donation

Ms. Sandra Ginalski’s 4th grade class at Hampden Meadows School in Barrington.

Just before the school year came to a close, a group of 4th graders in Sandra Ginalski’s class at Hampden Meadows School in Barrington made a special gift to Hasbro Children’s Hospital patients – ten books written and illustrated by students. It was the second year in a row that Ms. Ginalski organized a class project focused on our hospital.

Last year, she wrote a poem entitled, “A Tribute to Good Night Lights” and had her class illustrate the book before they presented it to Good Night Lights creator Steve Brosnihan when he visited their classroom. The project was so well-received that Ms. Ginalski couldn’t wait to create a project for this year’s class.

Ms. Ginalski encouraged her students to pick a topic that could be turned into a book and shared with a patient at the hospital. She then purchased blank books for her students to use to bring their creativity to life. The results ranged from tongue-twister and joke books, to picture books and even one featuring Harry Potter.

Hasbro Children’s Hospital extends its thanks and appreciation to Ms. Ginalski and all of her students for helping to bring smiles to the faces of our patients while letting them know others are thinking of them!

Hamden Meadows Book Donation

Hamden Meadows Book Donation

Hamden Meadows Book Donation

Hamden Meadows Book Donation


Friday, June 08, 2018

The Blue Angels Touch Down at Hasbro Children’s Hospital to Visit with Patients

Before taking to the sky high above Quonset Point on June 9 and 10 to wow tens of thousands of spectators at the annual Rhode Island Air Show, members of the Blue Angels touched down at Hasbro Children’s Hospital on Friday, June 8 to help lift the spirits of young patients.

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, the four Blue Angels team members presented a special gift to Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, before heading to the 4th and 5th floors to meet patients.

Blue Angels

Before heading to the 4th and 5th floors to visit with patients, members of the Blue Angels presented hospital president Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH with an autographed photo of the squadron flying over San Diego.

From left: Andre Webb; Clarence Presley; Dr. Van Bree; Brandon Hempler; and Juan Guerra, MD.

Once upstairs, the team members went room-to-room, where they were met with smiling young faces and shared stories about their impressive stunts and high-flying jets.

Specializing in flying acrobatics, the Blue Angels are the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron. Featuring officers who voluntarily serve on the team, each pilot stakes claim to having flown at least 1,250 tactical flight-jet hours. Since 1946, the prestigious group has flown for more than 260 million spectators.

In addition to the Blue Angels’ hospital visit, Hasbro Children’s Hospital will be the beneficiary of donations collected at the Air Show’s entrance each day. Since the partnership was established more than 20 years ago, in excess of $2 million has been collected and donated to the hospital.

Hasbro Children’s Hospital extends its sincere thanks to Flight Surgeon Navy Lt. Juan Guerra, MD; Navy Lt. F/A-18 Demonstration Pilot Brandon Hempler; Navy Lt. F/A-18 Hornet Pilot Andre Webb; and Navy Hospital Corpsman Clarence Presley for taking the time to visit our hospital and our patients.

Blue Angels

1-year-old Troy “TJ” Rocha, of Taunton, was the youngest patient to receive a visit from members of the Blue Angels.

Blue Angels

Flashing a bright smile, Kaitlyn Limoges, 9, poses for a photo with the Blue Angels who visited her hospital room on Friday, June 8 after showing them some of the drawings she had been working on.

Blue Angels

B’Call Hooks, 9, received quite the surprise when he ran into members of the Blue Angels in the hallway of the 4th floor during their visit to Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Blue Angels

Shy at first, 2-year-old Sophia Mangione warmed up for this photo with the Blue Angels as the team made their rounds to each room on the hospital’s 4th and 5th floors.

Blue Angels

A little tired after waking from a nap, Julian Pierre-Louis, 2, still wanted to meet our Blue Angels friends with his parents.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Balise Subaru’s Annual “Share the Love” Event Raises $28,077 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital

For the third consecutive year, Hasbro Children’s was as a beneficiary of Balise Subaru’s annual winter “Share the Love” event, the automobile company’s signature national effort that encourages Subaru retailers to give back to their communities. The hospital was selected as the local beneficiary of the Balise campaign by the dealership’s staff, receiving a generous donation of $28,077.

“Subaru’s ‘Share the Love’ campaign is one of our favorite times of the year as it allows our team at Balise Subaru to use their skills selling vehicles to support the local community,” said Jeb Balise, Owner and CEO of Balise Motor Sales. “The more cars we sell, the more money we raise, and we are grateful to our customers for rallying with us on behalf of Hasbro Children’s Hospital for a third consecutive year.”

Throughout the six weeks of “Share the Love” Subaru donated $250 for every vehicle sold or leased to the purchaser’s choice of benefitting charities. Along with Hasbro Children’s Hospital, charities included ASPCA®, Make-A-Wish®, Meals on Wheels America, and the National Park Foundation. Since first partnering with the hospital in 2015, Balise Subaru’s efforts have raised nearly $100,000 for Hasbro Children’s hospital in support of patient care, medical equipment, and research.

“We could not be more grateful to Balise Subaru for once again choosing our hospital as their local beneficiary, and for their customers’ response to supporting our work,” said Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, president of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “So much of the care we provide is made possible thanks to philanthropy and a community that cares deeply for children; this gift will have a direct impact on our patients and their families.”


From left: Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Kate Mason, District Sales Manager, Subaru New England; Jeb Balise, Owner and CEO, Balise Motor Sales; Francois I. Luks, MD, PhD, Pediatric Surgeon-in-Chief, Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Derek Power, General Manager, Balise Subaru; and Angela Silveira, MS, CCLS, CEIS, Manager, Child Life Services, Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Ronald McDonald Family Room at Hasbro Children’s Hospital Celebrates Milestone Anniversary

On Monday, April 30, Ronald McDonald House Providence celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Located on the hospital’s 4th floor, the family room is named in memory of “Little Ed” Holewiak, III and designed to provide patients and families with the comforts of home within the hospital setting.

Over the past decade, more than 18,000 families have enjoyed complimentary coffee, refreshments, meals, and snacks thanks to Panera Bread Seekonk, Vienna Bakery, Coca-Cola, and Blount Fine Foods. The room is beautifully furnished through the generosity of Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses, making it a comfortable respite from the bustle of the hospital. Additionally, the Ronald McDonald Family Room offers a full kitchenette, laundry facility, and computers complimentary to families.

“We are thankful to all our supporters for allowing us to bring the mission of Ronald McDonald House Providence within the walls of Hasbro Children’s Hospital,” said Michael Fantom, CEO, RMH Providence. “This room was made possible with the support of the McDonald’s community and the staff of Hasbro Children’s Hospital, namely Myra Edens for being instrumental in bringing the family room to life – we look forward to serving many more families in the year to come.”

Ronald McDonald House

All Smiles: Leadership from Ronald McDonald House Providence and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, joined by Rhode Island Shriner Clowns, celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ronald McDonald Family Room on Hasbro 4 on Monday, April 30.

From left: noZZle; Tracey Ginaitt, RN, BSN, Clinical Nurse Manager, Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Francois I. Luks, MD, PhD, Pediatric Surgeon-in-Chief, Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Myra Edens, RN, Administrative Director, Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Michael Fantom, CEO, RMH Providence; Tracey Wallace, Vice President of Pediatric Services, Hasbro Children’s Hospital; and Yiddle.

Myra Edens is a former president of the Ronald McDonald House Providence Board of Directors, and Dr. Luks and Tracey Wallace are current members of the organization’s board.


Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Four-Year-Old Paige Alston Honored as Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s 2018 Champion Child

Champion Child PaigeJust a few weeks past her fourth birthday and flashing a playful smile as the morning’s guest of honor, Paige Alston, of Coventry, stood alongside her parents Amber and Cliff as the couple recalled their daughter’s difficult medical journey to guests gathered at Hasbro Children’s Hospital during an event on Friday, March 30.

Moments later, the hospital – who the Alstons credit with saving their daughter’s life – honored the young girl as the 2018 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Rhode Island Champion Child. To mark the occasion, Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, president of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, presented Paige with a commemorative medal.

“Having an opportunity to recognize Paige for her strength and determination is a wonderful part of my job, but nothing beats seeing how well this beautiful little girl is doing today and how bright her future is,” said Dr. Van Bree. “We are so grateful to her parents for sharing their story – families like the Alstons are the best advocates for the life-saving work that happens here.”

Born with an omphalocele, an abdominal wall defect which caused Paige’s stomach, intestines and a portion of her liver to develop in a sac outside of her body, the young girl was also diagnosed with an atrial septal defect (ASD) shortly after birth. The ASD left Paige with a hole in the wall between her heart’s upper chambers, resulting in pulmonary hypertension.

At just three months of age, Paige underwent open-heart surgery and a tracheostomy to help her breathe. She spent the first 180 days of her life at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, much of it in the pediatric intensive care unit, before returning home with the assistance of a ventilator to begin her journey to recovery.

“Our care team at Hasbro Children’s Hospital is simply miracle workers; they not only saved our daughter’s life, but continue to care for and love her as though she was part of their family,” said Cliff Alston.

Added Amber Alston, “We are so proud of our warrior princess — Paige has taught us how strong we could be as parents and what the true meaning of love is. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to everyone at Hasbro Children’s for what they’ve made possible for our family.”

To date, Paige has undergone 23 procedures and requires monthly tracheotomy changes and maintenance. She no longer needs a ventilator and has a fully healthy heart, showing no remaining signs of pulmonary hypertension. Within the coming years, Paige will need to undergo an additional procedure at Hasbro Children’s to complete the final closure of her omphalocele, and, hopefully, the reversal of her tracheostomy.

Now in preschool, Paige is speaking and playing, and brightens the lives of everyone around her with her infectious smile and sense of resiliency – living each day to the fullest. As the 2018 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Rhode Island Champion, she will spend the year as a pediatric ambassador, highlighting the work of Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Champion Child Paige

Left to right: Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, president of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Paige Alston; Amber Alston; Harper Alston; and Cliff Alston.

Champion Child Paige

Paige Alston with her surgeon, Francois I. Luks, MD, PhD, Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s pediatric surgeon-in-chief.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Salve Regina Students Raise $20,207 for Hasbro Children’s during Miracle Network Dance Marathon

Beginning on Friday, February 23 at 8:00 p.m., and continuing through 10:00 a.m. the following morning, more than 115 Salve Regina University students danced the night away at Ochre Court in Newport, raising $20,207 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Dubbed locally the “SalveTHON,” the 14-hour event was part of the nationwide Miracle Network Dance Marathon, which raises money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, of which Hasbro Children’s is a proud member.

For weeks leading up to the “SalveTHON,” students secured donations from family and friends based on the amount of time they’d spend at the event. Students also organized fundraising activities for the night itself, including games and snacks. Dance participants could also make a donation to the cause if they wanted to take a quick nap to recharge during the overnight hours. Students and university faculty welcomed hospital patients Jeannette Finch and Evan Huddon and their families to participate in the festivities.

Across the country, Miracle Network Dance Marathons unite college, university, and high school students to raise funds and awareness for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. The more than $20,000 raised represents the university’s most successful “SalveTHON” to date, exceeding the $18,000 generated in 2017.

 Salve dance marathon

All Smiles: Hasbro Children’s Hospital patients Jeannette Finch, left, and Evan Huddon, right, at this year’s “SalveTHON,” which raised $20,207 for the area’s leading pediatric hospital.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Football Star Rob Gronkowski Visits Hasbro Children’s Hospital Patients, Presents Hospital with $25,000 Gift from Gronk Nation Youth Foundation

Gronkowski VisitFootball season may be over, but that didn’t stop the local team from being the center of attention when star tight end Rob Gronkowski, along with his father and brothers, took time to visit Hasbro Children’s Hospital patients on Tuesday, February 13. In addition to putting smiles on the faces of children, the Gronkowski family presented hospital leadership with a gift of $25,000 from the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation.

(Pictured right) Rob Gronkowski (left) helps Jonathan Mastriano, 14 (right), show off the young man’s newly autographed jersey, which the football star signed after learning Jonathan wore it while watching the Super Bowl from his hospital room.

The Gronkowskis’ visit was part of a daylong trek to children’s hospitals across New England, making donations in Massachusetts and Maine before arriving in Rhode Island. Leading up to this year’s AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl, Gronk Nation sold t-shirts and held two online raffles, giving fans a chance to win tickets to the games. Proceeds from the raffles were earmarked for three local children’s hospitals, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.

“There is no question that today is a day our patients and their families will never forget,” said Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, president of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “We could not be more thankful to Rob and the entire Gronkowski family, not only for their incredible generosity and commitment to kids, but also for the gift of their time.”

During the Gronkowskis’ visit to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Rob and his brothers spent time in the family room on the hospital’s sixth floor, where they colored with patients, posed for photos, and signed autographs. The Gronkowskis then visited patients on the hospital’s fifth floor, where the tight end made more than a few new fans. In one of the afternoon’s most emotional moments, Gronkowski autographed a jersey for Jonathan Mastriano, 14, after the young boy told him he wore it while watching the Super Bowl from his hospital room.

“My family and I were happy to support Rhode Island’s Hasbro Children’s Hospital,” said Rob Gronkowski. “We had a great time yesterday meeting both the children and staff, especially making Valentine’s Day cards.”

Gronkowski Visit

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, football star Rob Gronkowski, along with his father and brothers, visited Hasbro Children’s Hospital to present the hospital with a $25,000 donation from the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation.

Left to right: Dan Gronkowski; Gordie Gronkowski, Jr.; Gordy Gronkowski, Sr.; Lawrence A. Aubin, Sr., Chairman of the Lifespan Board of Directors and Chair of the Rhode Island Hospital Board of Trustees; Timothy J. Babineau, MD, President and CEO, Lifespan; Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital; and Rob Gronkowski.

Gronkowski Visit

Anna Kitada, 12, of Smithfield (left), takes a break from coloring with Dan Gronkowski (center) and Rob Gronkowski (right) in the family room on the sixth floor of Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Gronkowski Visit

Hasbro Children’s Hospital staff and Child Life Specialists enjoy a moment with members of the Gronkowski family during their visit to the hospital on February 13.

Gronkowski Visit

Left to right: Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Lawrence A. Aubin, Sr., Chairman of the Lifespan Board of Directors and Chair of the Rhode Island Hospital Board of Trustees; Gordie Gronkowski, Jr.; Rob Gronkowski; Timothy J. Babineau, MD, President and CEO, Lifespan; Dan Gronkowski; and Gordy Gronkowski, Sr.

Gronkowski Visit

Rob Gronkowski (left) shows his excitement after receiving a piece of framed art created by a hospital patient after it’s presented to him by Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital (right).


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Spirit Halloween Presents Hasbro Children’s Hospital with $76,269 Donation

Continuing their company’s national commitment to children’s health, local representatives from Spirit Halloween presented Hasbro Children’s Hospital leadership with a donation of $76,269 on Monday, February 12.

The funds raised were the result of Spirit Halloween’s “Spirit of Children” program, which was created to support children’s hospitals with much needed funding. Local area Spirit Halloween locations earmarked their funds to benefit Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s Child Life department.

“No child comes through our doors without being a little scared, and our Child Life team is simply amazing at helping to make the hospital as fun and pleasant a place as possible,” said Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, president of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “Spirit Halloween and their customers are invaluable partners in our work and we are grateful for their ongoing support. It truly makes a difference in the lives of the children we care for.”

Beginning in mid-September and continuing through the end of October, customers who purchased their costumes and Halloween décor at local Spirit Halloween stores were given two opportunities to support Hasbro Children’s. In addition to offering a coupon for 10 percent off their purchase —which Spirit donates back to the hospital — customers are invited to make a voluntary donation while checking out.

The Hasbro Children’s Hospital Child Life department works to provide young patients with a sense of normalcy during hospitalization by engaging in play, storytelling, arts and crafts, and music. Certified Child Life Specialists also help to educate patients and their families about a child’s illness and what to expect during a test or procedure in non-scary ways.

“We are extremely proud to partner with Hasbro Children’s Hospital and support the work of Child Life through the generosity of our local Spirit Halloween stores, customers and business partners,” said Richard Tereo, Director of Corporate Administration, Spencer Spirit Holdings, Inc. “It is an honor to be able to help Child Life Specialists provide therapeutic healing for children and their families while doctors and nurses focus on medical treatment.”

Since 2011, “Spirit of Children” has raised more than $335,000 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Overall, the program has generated in excess of $45 million for 130 hospitals across the United States and Canada.

Spirit Halloween Check Presentation

Representatives from Spirit Halloween (center) join members of the Hasbro Children’s Hospital development and Child Life teams to celebrate Spirit’s $76,269 donation to the hospital. One-hundred percent of the gift will support Child Life.

Spirit Halloween Artwork

Left to right: Spirit Halloween’s Dawn Martin, Zone Manager; Kieran Meehan, District Manager; and Jenny Zilka, Attleboro Store Manager, show off a piece of artwork created by a hospital patient and given to them as a sign of thanks for their generous support.

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